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Real Estate Dictionary


D

DEALER - An IRS designation for a person who regularly buys and sells real property.

DEBT SERVICE - The amount of money needed to meet the periodic payments of principal and interest when a debt is amortized.

DECLARATION OF RESTRICTIONS - A statement of all the covenants, conditions and restrictions ("CC&R's") which affect a parcel of land.

DEDICATION - The application of privately owned land to the public for no consideration, with the intent that the land will be accepted and used for public purposes.

DEED - A written instrument by which a property owner "grantor" transfers to a "grantee" an ownership in real property.

DEED OF TRUST - A legal document in which title to property is transferred to a third party trustee as security for an obligation owed by the trustor (borrower) to the beneficiary(lender).

DEFAULT - Failure to fulfill a duty or promise or failure to perform any obligation or required act. The most common occurrence of default on the part of a buyer or lessee is non-payment of money.

DEFERRED COMMISSIONS - Commissions which are earned but not yet fully paid.

DEFICIENCY JUDGEMENT - A judgment against a borrower, endorser, or guarantor for the balance of the debt issued when the security for a loan is insufficient to satisfy the debt.

DENSITY - A term, frequently used in connection with zoning requirements, which means the maximum number of building units per acre or the number of occupants or families per unit of land area (acre, square mile, etc.); usually the ratio of land area to improvement area.

DEPOSIT - Money offered by a prospective buyer as an indication of good faith in entering into a contract to purchase; earnest money; security for the buyer's performance of a contract.

DEPRECIATION (APPRAISAL) - A loss in value due to any cause; any condition which adversely affects the value of an improvement.

DEPRECIATION (TAX) - For tax purposes, depreciation is an expense deduction taken for an investment in depreciable property.

DEPTH TABLE - Tables of percentage designed to provide a uniform system of measuring the additional value to lots which accrues because of added depth, with the extra depth valued according to the added utility which it creates.

DESCENT - The acquisition of an estate by inheritance, where an heir succeeds to the property by operation of law. Descent literally means the hereditary succession of an heir to property of an ancestor who dies intestate.

DESCRIPTION - The portion of a conveyance document which defines the property being transferred.

DEVELOPER - One who attempts to put land to its most profitable use by the construction of improvements.

DEVISE - A transfer of real property under a will.

DISCLAIMER - A statement denying legal responsibility, frequently found in the form of, "There are no promises, representations, oral understandings or agreements except as contained herein."

DISCOUNT POINTS - An added loan fee charged by a lender to make the yield on a lower-than-market interest VA or FHA loan competitive with higher interest conventional loans.

DISCRIMINATION - The act of making a distinction against or in favor of a person on the basis of the group or class to which the person belongs; the failure to treat people equally.

DISTRAINT - The right of a landlord, pursuant to a court order, to seize a tenants belongings for rents in arrears.

DOMICILE - The state where an individual has his true, fixed, permanent home and principal business establishment and to which place he has the intention of returning whenever he is absent.

DOUBLE ESCROW - An escrow set up to handle the concurrent sale of one property and purchase of another property by same party.

DOWER - The legal right or interest a wife acquires in property her husband held or acquired anytime during marriage.

DUAL AGENCY - Representing both principals (buyer and seller) to a transaction.

DUE ON SALE CLAUSE - A form of acceleration clause found in some mortgages, especially savings and loan mortgages, requiring the mortgagor to pay off the mortgage debt when selling the secured property, thus resulting in automatic maturity of the note at the lender's option.

DUPLEX - A structure that provides housing accommodations for two families by having separate entrances, kitchens, bedrooms, lanais, living rooms and bathrooms. A two-family dwelling.

DURESS - Unlawful constraint or action exercised upon a person whereby he is forced to perform some act against his will. A contract entered into under duress is void.

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